Design Critique: Google Voice – Text Messaging

 

Introduction

During my time supporting a US defense project, I found myself more privy to my privacy needs and started using a Google Voice number as an alternate to my real number for calls, texting and online usage.

Google Voice gives you a phone number for calling, text messaging, and voicemail. It works on smartphones and computers and syncs across your devices so you can use the app in the office, at home, or on the go.

Google provided a major update to its Google Voice App interface last year along with another Material Design update for the app last week. However, there are still a number of UX design opportunities for this App.

Critique

 

Visibility: Separate Tabs for Main features

On opening the application, there are four separate tabs that lead to Google Voice’s main features: Calls, Contacts, Messages, and Voicemail. Users can immediately locate the features using proper signifiers as shown below. Further, one can easily locate the Hamburger Menu on the top left, Compose Message icon on the bottom right and the Search filter on top. During a text conversation, it also improves the visibility of the message sender by taking advantage of the mapping principle. The conversation text from a user (sender) is represented using grey color while as in this image below blue is used here for others which helps distinguish the messages.

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